Thursday, July 18, 2013

SMC removes Noli Eala as sports operations head

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) on Thursday announced that executive Noli Eala will no longer be the company’s consultant for basketball operations.

In a statement, the company said Eala will be re-assigned to "help out in the company’s infrastructure businesses,” noting that his “managerial expertise and experience with various companies he handled in recent years will be very valuable in his new assignment.”

Eala will no longer be involved in the operations of San Miguel’s three franchises in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) – the San Mig Coffee Mixers, the Petron Blaze Boosters, and perennial crowd favorites Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

SMC also said in its statement that it has “accepted" the request of Barangay Ginebra head coach Alfrancis Chua for a leave of absence for the PBA Governor’s Cup "due to personal reasons.”

Chua on Monday announced during a practice session that he was resigning as head coach of the Gin Kings, though his players, including Mark Caguioa, have asked him to re-consider.

The company also assured the public and the fans of its franchises that “the operations of its basketball teams will continue to run smoothly despite Eala’s new role in the organization.”

Following Chua’s resignation, many of Barangay Ginebra’s fans called on Eala to resign, although he defended himself on Twitter.

“Certainly don’t appreciate all the hate I’m receiving, mostly unfair. Frankly many haters are barking up the wrong tree. Still, life goes on,” Eala posted on his Twitter account last Tuesday.

“Bashing people first then demanding an explanation after is so unfair. All this hate because some people believe stories based on conjecture,” he added.

SMC franchises have been in the midst of a coaching rigodon that has been questioned by the teams’ supporters.

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